11 Shuttered Berkeley Establishments Cal Alumni Still Cry Over

Every Cal graduate was once a UC Berkeley student with preferred watering holes and places to grab a quick bite to eat. Time, however, has changed the foodscape around Berkeley. Many of these old haunts are no longer in business. Here are eleven shuttered Berkeley establishments that alumni still cry over.

Campus Eats

Caffe Mediterraneum

Caffe Mediterraneum

Caffe Mediterraneum opened its doors in 1957 to generations of Berkeley’s finest. The cafe’s patrons included poet Allen Ginsberg; activists protesting during the Free Speech Movement and at anti-Vietnam War protests; members of the Black Panther Party; and actor Dustin Hoffman in the film The Graduate. Owner Craig Becker passed the lease to a group of restaurant owners, but not before he hosted a send-off which included guests like Berkeley mayor and Cal graduate Jesse Arreguín ’07. Caffe Mediterraneum closed in January 2017.

Crepes A-Go-Go

Crepes A-Go-Go

Fun fact: Founder and owner of Crepes A-Go-Go, Linda Gilman, began selling crepes in the Bay Area in the early 1990s from a food truck. She opened Crepes Ooh La La on University Avenue in 1994 before expanding to Telegraph Avenue with Crepes A-Go-Go. The location on Telegraph served UC Berkeley students affordable, fresh crepes with both savory and sweet options, including one named after Gilman’s son called “The King ‘Lias.” Students appreciated Crepes A-Go-Go not just for its convenient location close to campus and its $6 crepes, but also its speedy service that allowed them to get to class right on Berkeley time. Crepes A-Go-Go closed in April 2016.

Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food

Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food

Since 1996, UC Berkeley students knew to save their A-graded papers and exams to bring to Smart Alec’s for a bag of free, air-baked fries. Students without As still frequented Smart Alec’s for their affordable, healthy food offerings including salads, soups, and sandwiches. Founder Alex Popov sold Smart Alec’s in 2010 while he continued to oversee Pappy’s Grill. Due to rent increases and competition, Smart Alec’s new owner decided to close, but Popov reassures students that Pappy’s will continue to serve some of Smart Alec’s favorite selections—like its cornbread. Smart Alec’s closed in November 2016.

Pubs and Bars

Beckett’s Irish Pub and Restaurant

Beckett’s Irish Pub and Restaurant

Martin and Mary Connolly opened Beckett’s in 2001, back when the building was being rehabilitated. The bar didn’t just offer drinks; it also hosted regular live music performances where students and locals gathered and formed a community. The Connollys ultimately decided to close Beckett’s, not because there was a lack of customers, but because the space was too large for their needs. Beckett’s Irish Pub and Restaurant closed in February 2011.

Brennan’s Restaurant

John Brennan opened the iconic Brennan’s Restaurant back in 1959, and before the restaurant’s closing in 2018, his granddaughter Margaret Wade was the third generation of their family to own the restaurant. Wade ultimately made the decision to close because of rising rent prices, citing decreasing numbers of people who drink as much as they did in the 70s and warmer winters that kept patrons from craving their classic, heavy meat-and-potatoes dishes. Up to Brennan’s closing day, locals went to enjoy the sports bar and the most famous Irish coffee in the East Bay. Brennan’s Restaurant closed in September 2018.

Brennan’s Restaurant

Restaurants

The Blue Nile

Seyoum Kebede opened The Blue Nile in Berkeley in 1982, just two years after he opened the restaurant’s first location in Oakland. The original Blue Nile was the Bay Area’s first Ethiopian restaurant and quickly became the gathering spot for the Ethiopians living in the area. Students in Berkeley loved The Blue Nile, and alumni who remained in the area continued to patron the restaurant for years. Most notably, the restaurant was known for its rich tej honey wine, which many have failed to find elsewhere since the restaurant’s closing. Based on Yelp reviews, The Blue Nile closed in January 2007.

Oscar’s

Oscar's

In 1950, Oscar’s began serving burgers, fries, and other standard diner food to the Berkeley community. Students and professors alike frequented the reliable restaurant, where little changed during its 65 years of service. It was founded by a family who never chose to share their names, but carried on for one generation before they decided to close their business. Oscar’s closed in November 2015.

Cafes

Sufficient Grounds

Sufficient Grounds

For 30 years, Sufficient Grounds served UC Berkeley students from its Sather Lane location with sandwiches served on housemade, one-of-a-kind bread. Many students were regulars and frequented the shop from their first to last year at Cal. The Daily Californian readers even voted Sufficient Grounds as “Best Sandwich” in the Best of Berkeley awards in 2001, 2009, and 2010. Owner Anthony Tasoulinh said his decision to close his shop was driven largely by the rising rent prices and declining revenue. Alumni still report that they miss the bread. Sufficient Grounds closed in April 2010.

The Beanery

The Beanery was frequented not just by Elmwood community members, but also Cal students and professors who spent many hours studying and writing in the cafe. While The Beanery still has storefronts in San Francisco and Alameda, its Berkeley location on College Avenue was sold after 18 years. Co-owner Sima Navaie sold the cafe because she wanted to dedicate more time to her family. Navaie and her husband, however, chose carefully when they sold their business, ensuring that Organic Greens, which would take over the location, would fill the needs of their loyal customers and community. The Beanery closed in February 2018.

Sweets

Ici’s

Ici's

Many freshmen at Berkeley will always remember fondly riding the 51B from their dorm down College Avenue to stand in a line that stretched several storefronts, to get their first taste of a Berkeley classic. Ici Ice Cream opened in September 2006. Founder Mary Canales had finished a nine-year tenure as pastry chef at Chez Panisse and was looking to create her own place, where she could express greater creativity with her food. For all 12 years of Ici’s time at Berkeley, the store was known for its fresh ingredients, rotating daily flavors, and homemade waffle cones. Ici’s closed in November 2018.

Virginia Bakery

The Virginia Bakery many Berkeley alumni came to know and love began in 1954, when Charles and Dorothy Erdmann bought the location from its previous owners (the Poechel family, who had owned the bakery location since 1925). After Charles’s unexpected passing, the business was handed down to John Erdmann, one of the Erdmann’s sons, in 1976. After 42 years, John and his wife retired to spend more time with their families. Loyal customers—everyone from Berkeley students to Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton—will forever remember this mom-and-pop bakery for its beautifully decorated cakes and cookies. Virginia Bakery closed in April 2018.

These eleven establishments are only a handful of the restaurants that have closed their doors over the past couple of decades in Berkeley. If your favorites didn’t make it onto this list, please share them with us! You can also find a complete story about Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto from CALIFORNIA magazine.

Comments

AGREED!!! I’ll still visit but even a walk through the eucalyptus grove was different. Is La Val’s still there????
There is a new salad spot on the footprint of Intermezzo called Mezzo. It’s more or less the same as intermezzo. They have HUGE salads and sandwiches.
Looks like everyone hit all my early 80s favs. The one I didn’t see mentioned (technically Oakland) was Flints BBQ on Telegraph just south of Ashby. I remember hitting it up between midnight and 2 a.m. blasted off my ass and allowing that sauce to light my hair on fire. So GOOD!
There was a time in 1966 when we didn’t wash our dishes very often and were living on the food from Robbie’s Chinese Hof Brau. I also liked the rum sauce they put on the apple pie slices at Ranch Burger, next to the smokeshop at Telly and Bancroft.
I think so. We used to get the one dollar special at the Mexican Kitchen next to Laval’s and the art film theater (lots of Jean-Paul Belmondo flicks). They didn’t check IDs there.
Although Fiesta down the street was always crowded, we preferred Don Pacquin’s, closer to campus on Telegraph. Liked Top Dog, which was up by the Hotel Durant then. And, as I’ve noted elsewhere, Ranch Burger with the rum sauce topping on apple pie.
’85 grad - what? no mention of Pasand Indian food on Shattuck? One of our regular restaurants - delicious, inexpensive, perfect for the student soul……ah the memories.
It’s good to see ‘The Blue Nile’ remembered in this piece. In 1990-91, my friends and I — all at high school at the time — used to share meals upstairs and drink bottles of Guinness. Excellent food, my introduction to Ethiopian, and the first restaurant that served us beer. My beloved ‘Half Price Books’, with superb remainders from university presses and UK publishers, was on the same block and would be open until late for post-dinner browsing.
I agree! I graduated in 1990, so I don’t remember any of these eateries. :-( But Blondie’s restaurant rocked!
Thanks Andrew for letting us know that La Val’s on Euclid is still open. I still remember their slogan in their menu, something like: “salsa usanga, casa lingua con formaggio”
I was a busboy at the Black Sheep. It was on Bancroft just east of Telegraph. Was owned by a lady named Florence.
glad to see someone else remembers that chinese restaurant. one of the first places i took my girlfriend
I thought I was the only one who missed La Villa Hermosa. Fantastic food at rock bottom prices, and a salsa verde that would clear your sinuses. I’m amazed the article didn’t mention Larry Blake’s. My folks, who attended Cal in the 50s, talk about Bertola’s, which I think closed in the 80s. Slightly outside the scope of the article, I miss Biff’s diner on Broadway in Oakland.
YES!!!!!
Was the True Blue Café mentioned on Center Street? I always thought of it as the True Blue Cafeteria where you slid your tray in front of the various food stations where could could take pre-served dishes of items or have a server make a dish for you. The lunch counter at Woolworth’s on Shattuck was always a treat with my grandmother. Edy’s on Shattuck at Allston Way was a great place for ice cream as well as regular food. Wilkinson’s on Shattuck had great waffles. I experienced my first whipped butter there. Edible Complex on College near Rockridge BART was a great dessert place. My grandparents ran the Canton Cafe on University which eventually turned into Yangtze River which had a long run at that location too. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
They reopened! It’s called Mezzo now.
When my sister and her husband came to visit California, I took them to The Blue Nile in Berkeley. We enjoyed using our fingers on the food plate! I am sorry that it closed down.
The Spenger’s closure is especially poignant to me. It’s partner establishment (yes there was another Spenger’s) was located in Benicia about 6 miles from our home in Vallejo. My first eating experience there was in the early 1950’s when I was six year old. The fact that it was situated in the grand old SF bay ferry “Encinal” made it a most exciting experience for me. The Sunday my parents moved me into my Cal dorm, we had lunch at the Berkeley Spengers. Of course, you never forget your first day at Cal, and the Berkeley Spengers, being part of that experience, will never be forgotten by me. SEE the related Benicia Herald news article: Spenger Grotto to Open Saturday (April 1, 1943) On Saturday Spenger’s Fish Grotto will be open to the public in the famous old ferry “Encinal” which is now located in Benicia city limits, two miles west of town on the Benicia-Vallejo highway. Spenger Brothers who have had many years in specializing in fish and steak dinners, promise the public the same high class quality of foods and service that they maintain in their famous cafe in Berkeley. Their Berkeley establishment has been in operation since 1930 and the “Encinal” was anchored and operated as a cafe at San Rafael for six years, and was towed here several monthse ago. The ferry was first launched at San Francisco in 1887 and was operated on San Francisco Bay by the Southern pacific Company until sold to the Spengers. The management here will be under the direct supervision of Paul Spenger, and Frank Spenger will remain at the Berkeley Cafe. SEE PHOTO: https://s3.amazonaws.com/pastperfectonline/images/museum_224/010/1994003...
I concur. It was the place I always went with friends, even for years after graduation. My wife cried when they closed.
Weird reply fail. Was referring to Taiwan Restaurant
I missed those sundaes after spring & summer exams when it finally closed. Fenton’s was great but took a special trip to get there from campus.
Oops. Edy’s sundaes were my special, after spring-finals-exam treat.
Ha! Robbie’s, where I met my husband in April 1966!
The Dynasty Restaurant on Euclid was my favorite spot, and the generous Beef Won Ton soup was my favorite meal. I’m still trying to find a recipe that’s even close.
Thanks so much for remembering with me, Suzanne! Took me a long time to find this article—kept thinking it was from Berkeleyside! I think Cruchon’s actually appeared in a science-fiction short story: someone from the future hiding out in Berkeley in 1967. Where exactly is the location place that used to be Beggar’s Banquet? Best, Art
Vivoli’s!! No other ice cream shop compares. Loved the ice cream. Loved the patio. Loved the owners. Such a delight!!
Suzanne, Thanks so much. Do you remember exactly where Cruchon’s was on the west side of Shattuck north of University? And where was Beggar’s Banquet on the west side of San Pablo? I remember the hedge! All best wishes, Art
Loved The Come Back Inn!!!
Loved The Come Back Inn!!!
I have fond memories of espresso and crepes at 3C’s on the Northside. Sitting on pillows on the floor at Darvish on Telegraph. I remember when Fat Apples went by the name Fat Alberts. Wandering into La Salamandre to see a band when innocents were still chanting Free Tanya! And what was that little movie theater right on Telegraph somehow connected to Pauline Kael? I remember seeing McCabe and Mrs. Miller there for the second time. Probably stopped at The Edible Complex for a dessert on the way back to Oakland.
In addition to Kip’s and Sy’s on Durant in the early 70’s, I remember a place called Tyrone Fats. Can anyone expand on this? Thanks.
Yes!!! The creamy green bean soup with tarragon was my favorite at Beggar’s Banquet. (1970’s) Dinner at Chez Panisse was $9.95. My all time favorite was Casa de Eva on Telegraph below Stuart. A long walk from campus, but the chalupas!!!
Intermezzo salads, or more importantly their bread, and Zona Rosa burritos. The original Noah’s bagels on College Ave
Does anybody remember the Taqueria near Oxford close to campus? Burritos as big as your head and so good!! Also, the blueberry muffins at Bubi’s on Shattuck on Northside were to die for.
More votes for Marios La Fiesta and Casa de Eva.
Also, Paninis in Trumpetvine Courts next to Vivolis for great sandwiches and then gelato. Vivolis was the first place at which I invested an entire dollar for a small scoop of ice cream.
John’s Soup Kitchen with fresh whole grain bread. Great salads. The owner used to rent warehouses and throw Reggae and Rum parties.
Mario’s La Fiesta was my favorite restaurant during my Cal years, 1997 to 2003. I probably ate there an average of twice per week for 5 of those 6 years. The salsa was genuinely hot and they set it on the tables in small lidded plastic containers with a notch cut out for a plastic spoon and I would shovel it out over my food. The super burritos were my favorite. The chicken soup was the best soup I have ever had. The walk up to the bathroom was a dark and windy staircase above the kitchen up to the second floor. I believe there was a payphone back there on the way up to the bathroom. Many afternoons or late afternoons I would stop Mario’s by myself on my way home from classes or work. I would read the newspaper while I ate. Some friends and I stopped by in 2009 or 10 and the restaurant had moved to the party hall on the other side of Telegraph and by that point the writing was on the wall. To this day Mario’s remains my favorite restaurant of all time across all the cities I’ve lived in.
Grossburger! Egads I didn’t realize anyone would recall that name. I went there a number of times in the mid-to-late 1970’s. My father, who was the Dean of the (one of the) nearby seminaries (CDSP) took me out to dinner allowing me to pick the restaurant. I picked Grossburger - he was appalled.
The one I miss is Nation’s Giant Hamburgers on Durant. That giant slice of onion on the burgers was great. And House of Kebab. The owner would tell us all he was from a different country until one of our professors who worked in Iraq told us he was Iraqi. He just was afraid with the Gulf War having just happened that there would be discrimination if we knew the truth. Most of my other favorites are still there but a couple of them I ate at in recent years tasted really really off that I won’t go back. So happy to hear Intermezzo has reopened as Mezzo. Going into Berkeley today and plan to eat lunch there, and will be picking up a Zachary’s half baked pizza for dinner.
The house on the southwest corner of Channing and Dana was also used in The Graduate.
1967-1971. I remember and will always miss Cruchons on Shattuck, Peet’s Coffee and The Cheese Shop on Vine, The Agriculture Library, Top Dog on ?(hey that’s how I celebrated graduating) and Sproul Hall Activities.
Does no one remember La Burrita?
I remember the Black Sheep. It was on Bancroft, east of Telegraph, back in the 60s. Very simple but it was my family’s go-to place on Sunday after church.
Somehow I was able to drink lots of beer in Larry Blake’s Rathskeller before age 21. Did I have a fake ID? Must have. Or did they not check? Unlikely. I also liked the Top Dog. The owner was a very right wing angry guy but the dogs were good. Cafe Jabberwock: it was only open for a few years but hosted Country Joe etc. I played there for a while in a recorder trio with Mike Rossman and Phil Nathanson. Yes, I think when I was a freshman in 1960 the Black Sheep was one of a very few restaurants open on Sundays when the dorm did not provide dinner. The year I started at Berkeley the Viennese Cafe closed. I think it was run by a refuge couple and service pastries and such. Omei (sp?) was one of the first restaurants billed as serving Sechuan cuisine. It was on Solano. Mel’s Drive-in was a staple for burgers and shakes. Yes, LaVals had OK pizza and pasta as well as carafes of wine. A bit later, Peets Coffee was one of the first purveyors of fine coffees. And there was a nice little Japanese restaurant on Telegraph near Dwight I think. Des Alpes was a favorite inexpensive French Bistro in San Francisco to take a date to for a somewhat special occasion. Of course, Ernie’s in SF if you had lots of money to spare.
When Codys left that was the end of telegraph
I really enjoyed reading all these great nostalgic ruminations! I worked at the Caffe Espresso making sandwiches while waiting to attend UC as a Calif. resident. Also loved La Fiesta, and many other places mentioned! Nobody mentioned Bit of Asia—an early fusion restaurant on the west side of San Pablo Ave, north of Univ. Ave. La China Poblana was unique; owners were from Goa and Mexico, which made for some great combo dishes! Nobody mentioned Old Uncle Gaylord’s ice cream; first time I had vanilla bean ice cream. Sigh…so many great places gone forever. Glad we all got to experience so many of them. Thanks for setting up this thread.
I know this sounds weird. But is there any way we can Alsace all this history being lost Telegraph? Shame. Each time I go back there is a another business lost. Lucky yogurt park still there. There should be a telegraph street museum. Such a historical street to our country. Any ideas
The theater connected to Pauline Kael was the Cinema and the Guild. It had two viewing rooms. She wrote the flyers that had reviews and schedules. I remember seeing Satyajit Ray movies there. DD
Mama’s BBQ on Shattuck: “Walk In Pig Out” Cocolat on Shattuck: Black & White Truffles and Whiskey Cake The Buttercup Bakery: Mushroom Soup Giovanni’s: Pizza on a French roll The Bao stand outside Bart at Center and Shattuck Bott’s CoffeeFudge - Yum! Vivoli’s Gelato
HI Bob Do you know anymore about the cafe/ice cream store called McCurdy. As you can see I am a McCurdy and the owner of the store was my husband’s father’s uncle. We had heard about the store, can’t find any info on it. Thanaks.
They left off Fat Slice. Closed recently. Also Cody’s bookstore. When. Cody’s left that was the beginning of the decline of telegraph.
I have never been able to find any other pizza as great as I had at Granata’s in the 50’s! Does anyone know any place that makes a similar thin crust pizza? I am not sure if Granata’s had 2 locations, but I remember friends driving out of Berkeley a bit to get to the family restaurant, where Grandma was usually sitting in the corner!
Ha, ha. I knew those miscreants well. Too well!
1970-74-ish I was introduced to Mandarin Chinese food at a restaurant on the north side of University Ave., a couple doors west of Shattuck. I fell in love with what we called “Tsin Jow” AKA steamed dumplings (look like potstickers). What was the restaurant and what is the actual term or spelling for what we called “Tsin Jow?!”
Hello Catherine, Good chance it may have been the Taiwan restaurant. I don’t know the dish you mentioned. My favorite there was the spicy prawns—so addictive! The waitress would see me coming, and go ..”Spicy Prawns?”. Yeah!
Anarkali’s Bertola’s Blondie’s Café Intermezzo Café Venezia Casa de Eva Cocolat Come Back Inn Cruchons Dynasty Flint’s BBQ Giant Burger Good Earth Kips La Villa Hermosa Larry Blake’s LaVal’s Manuel’s Mario’s La Fiesta McCallums Ice Cream Mexicali Rose Omnivore Rathskeller Sam Wo’s Solomon Grundy’s Spenger’s Spud Brothers Taiwan True Blue Café Vivoli’s Ice Cream Zona Rosa
Yum Darlene. I can taste those prawns. Before I went to Cal, I’d only tasted Cantonese. What a Dream tasting all the dishes!
Dear fellow commenter, Warren. I notice that your remark includes these places: Giant Burger, LaVal’s, Kips, and Bongo Burger. I used to go to Giant Burger on Euclid Avenue, and I’m slightly sad that it is gone. Also, when I lived in Priestly Hall dormitory during the time I was a freshman, I often went to Kips. I think that Kip’s is now a Chinese restaurant. But Bongo Burger still has three locations near the U.C. Berkeley campus. In fact, yesterday (March 2, 2020) I had a Persian burger at Bongo Burger on Euclid Ave. Also, LaVal’s is still open on Euclid Avenue and I had a beer at that place three times in the past couple of months.
The title of this comment string is, “Shuttered Berkeley Establishments Cal Alumni Still Cry Over.” There are some shuttered Berkeley establishments that have provided me with fond memories, though I don’t cry over them. The only shuttered Berkeley establishment that causes me to cry is NORTHSIDE THEATER. I went there for my first date ever in my entire life (autumn 1969) and we saw the movie, ULYSSES. At Northside Theater, I also saw a dozen other movies, including LIVING ON TOKYO TIME and MY DINNER WITH ANDRE. Also, I am grieved that CAFE RENAISSANCE on Durant is closed. At this place while in grad school, I ordered hundreds of cappuccinos, which I drank while reading biochemistry articles. Four Berkeley establishments would cause me to cry if they closed are: (1) MOE’s; (2) TOP DOG; (3) PEET’s in Walnut Square, and (4) CHEESEBOARD. This year (January 2020), I finally bought a TOP DOG T-shirt, and I’ve been posing while wearing it at various businesses, State Parks, and National Parks in California and then posting my photographs on YELP. My first visit to PEET’s at Walnut Square was in 1973. Okay, I miss CRUCHON’S on Shattuck. A couple of other people here mentioned Cruchon’s. I went there on a date with a girl in late 1969, when I was an incoming freshman. I miss Oscar’s because of its charcoal broiled flavored burgers. I used to go to Oscar’s at the time I was in grad school and was doing late night experiments (on folic acid) in Morgan Hall. I miss Brennan’s, and I went there on about six occasions, at the time I was in grad school and doing late night experiments. The last time I went to Brennan’s was about fifteen years ago and, before that, my previous visits were in the years, 1974-1980. It is a tragedy that Spenger’s converted itself from a funky, homey seafood restaurant into a fancy place with white tablecloths. This by itself destroyed Spenger’s (in my opinion) and so when it actually shut down, I was not bothered. Nobody has yet mentioned HEIDELBERG (German food) on Telegraph Avenue. My parents took me there to celebrate my high school graduation . Nobody has yet mentioned CHA AM, the great Thai restaurant that was once located in the Gourmet Ghetto (how sad that it is gone). Also, nobody has yet mentioned WARSZAWA, that excellent Polish restaurant that was also once in the Gourmet Ghetto.
Wow, thank you Mr. Dileo for reminding me of Edy’s. It was on Shattuck Avenue. I went there a couple of times while an undergraduate.
Always on the lookout for new places, I did eat at the Polish restaurant. Also, there was an Afghanistan place on Telegraph below Dwight. The YMCA on Bancroft had healthy foods like big salads and peanut butter & honey on thick whole grain bread. I also loved the cafe (& the brownies) at the Pacific Film Archive in the Art Museum.
I used to work at Tyrone Fats when I was a street person in Berserkely in 71.
Top Dog: https://www.google.ro/maps/place/Top+Dog/@37.8668983,-122.2584107,17.79z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x808579363a8549d3:0x94ea1595a675e993!2sBerkeley,+CA,+USA!3b1!8m2!3d37.8715226!4d-122.273042!3m4!1s0x80857c2f0f0b62f3:0x14685641969b3c98!8m2!3d37.8678573!4d-122.2573802
Great place, with RC Gormans all along all the walls and the high backed dark wooden booths
Wow, so many memories: Fondue Fred’s, La Villa Hermosa, The Soup Kitchen @ Dwight & Telegraph, Hunger Pang on Durant, yes LaVal’s Southside, loved Bertola’s, Bott’s Ice Cream and Cafe Romano on College Ave., The Good Earth Restaurant (loved the Chicken Marco Polo), the old Caffe Roma, Dynasty, The Egg Shop and Apple Press, the pizzaco at Larry Blake’s. I really miss those days.
In 1972/73 I would walk down Telegraph Ave near Alcatraz to a diner (Sam’s?) to sit at the counter and eat a stack of pancakes for $1.00. Does anyone else remember this place?
Does anyone remember the cafe that sold meat pies in the Rockridge in the late 80s (Possibly Australian)?
There was a wonderful place on University at 6th St… now torn down and an apartment house is there..but try as I might, I cannot remember the name….and it served great food…it was on the corner…very eclectic… this was back in the 1970’s… I sure remember The Pot Luck…that was my other absolutely favorite… anyone remember the name of this place…the entrance was I think at the corner…
Mccallum’s was our farmily’s go-to ice cream place as well. The employees wore Scottish caps, and when I first saw a Scottish pipe band, I thought to myself, “they all look like they work at McCallums’s!”
That was Noble Pies. I remember it well.
I found this site because I suddenly remembered Botts and wondered if it was still open. The most amazing, creamy, apricot ice cream! Made doing laundry next door bearable. There was also Swenson’s, but nothing quite compared to Botts. When did they close?
Grossburger was a place to go after a film at the nearby independent movie theater. And full of very trippy people after midnight on a weekend.
The Med — always perfect coffee drinks. Italian pastries hard to find elsewhere. A place to start the day or to go to after first class and meet friends. A place for gathering, or for hanging out alone studying or reading, in the afternoon. Often a place to meet up after demonstrations. It will always be my idea of what a coffee place should be. Sometimes we would bicycle over to Peets on Sunday morning. . Back then (early 70’s) it was a little handkerchief sized space where people could buy beans and go home and practice making good coffee. There was a tiny cheese place nearby. When I visited Berkeley many years later the cheese place had grown, with a wonderful assortment of cheeses and an amazing selection of fresh breads. I
Anyone remember the place that made these amazing beignets in the 80’s? It was down a little further on Telegraph, near where Fat Slice is now.
Oh Edy’s! That hot fudge. It got a little chewy as it cooled….Mmmmm. I miss that place so much.
La Val’s and the theatres on Northside
I have been sitting here for 20 minutes trying to remember the name of that pizza or Italian place, where the pizza was a whole different experience. Now, that was food. Thank you. GIOVANNIS! Does anyone remember the bakery in the Berkeley Coop parking lot, either on Telegraph or Ashby? I’ve never had pastries like that since. Loved them!
Mc Callums had the BEST ice cream sundaes! And super sadwiches. They were always polite and friendly unlike Ortmans. He was super tite ass. Ice cream was good and inventive but they were penny pinchers, made me feel bad as a kid.
Back in ’75 or ’76, my friend Alex T. and I (we were still fresh out of Berkeley High School) went to eat at Robbie’s, with its somewhat seedy, old and tired and gloomy atmosphere (which I still found kind of alluring in its own way) and Alex explained to me that Robbie’s used to be a favorite of Jack Kerouac ‘s …
By the way, does anyone recall the fast food place that I believe was called “Yummer’s” that was open briefly in the 1970’s — It was housed in the fanciful faux-Victorian structure that was built for it, and after “Yummer’s” went out of business, the venue was subsequently rented out by the “Coffee King” at the time, Alex Fisenko — who turned it into an “Espresso Experience” — which in turn because the “Roma” (when Mr. Fisenko was squeezed out in 1980) — which in turn later on became the “Caffe Strada” — “Yummer’s” served a shredded beef sandwich on a bun and had some tabletops that were covered in old Victorian advertising (which may or may not still be there in the Caffe Strada to this day) …
IRENE SOROKOLIT — I have some memories of all those places (except La Villa Hermosa) and I worked for the Egg Shop and Apple Press chain back in the late 70’s — The Fondue Fred’s I went to was just one time, back in ’70 or ’71 (my junior high school teacher at the time and her husband took me there) when it was still located over on Channing Way, housed in an older building that had a outdoor wooden deck built on in front (this was before it moved into the “Village” indoor shopping mall down at Dwight Way and Telegraph Avenue) — I also worked at the “Espresso Experience” at College and Bancroft that subsequently became the Roma in 1980, but I never used to go there after the change-over (except for maybe one time only) — Still more familiar with La Val’s Northside compared to the Southside, (which I believe changed into something else back in the early 80’s) …
TOMAS PONCE — I do indeed remember “Spud Brothers” quite well, even in its brief tenure (at the time, I was working in the “Espresso Experience” cafe, which was practically right next door on Bancroft Avenue there) — “Spud Brothers” had originated as a pushcart venue just up the street, parked over near the entrance to Sproul Plaza at Telegraph and Bancroft, (along with the other pushcart venues that were there at the time) and then after “Sandwiches A Go-Go” (which had been a fixture on Bancroft for who knows how long - from the 60’s at least, I would think) went out of business, Spuds moved in to the space for a while — I thought it was a good idea, too — Inexpensive and filling — I used to have the vegetarian options, like the one with peas and corn on top …
I think the egg shop and apple press was on cedar right near the very first Peet’s coffee.
Martino’s cafe on Shattuck famous for their Beggar’s Banquet…
Casa de Eva - the very best! They made chalupas (sp?) that were like little tarts filled with cheese - never to be found anywhere else I have lived. So good!
Happy Family was my dish.
Back around ’79, when The Clash were at Tower Records for an in-store appearance, me & Marc Monosonic were talking to Joe Strummer who asked where he could get some American Food. We helped sneak Joe & Mick out of the store & over to Giant Burger, which they loved. One of the CBS promo guys ran over & started yelling at them “What the hell do you think you’re doing” “I’m having a burger, aren’t I…”
The year was 1962, and had a job on 4th & Cedar St. at Desoto Chemical Coatings. Spenger’s bar was a tradition after work along with outstanding food! Hope I’m wrong in hearing it has closed, along with Brennan’s? HUGE LOSS!
Permanently closed, unfortunately, about two years ago. My family used to go there after church on Sundays in the 60s, but it had changed in the more recent decades.
Yes! I did not attend Cal, however I attended Anna Head School. My father attended law school at Boalt Hall and the law students used to study at the Black Sheep. Fritzi Zuckerman, owner, became a close friend of my family, joining us for holidays and Sunday dinners. We used to dine often at the Black Sheep. It was a wonderful restaurant!
I couldn’t believe the article didn’t mention Blake’s on Telegraph either. I have soooo many memories. ❤️
Hi, La Fiesta was the best and most authentic mexican food i’ve found. In Albuquerque now, and no contest. When did they go out of business? Thx much.
The green chicken enchiladas at La Villa Hermosa were incomparable.
Russ maybe you are thinking of Balabosta? I think I got the name right. Later it became a short-lived chaat house. From my Cal days, some places that are gone that I miss are Dynasty (northside - could get wonton in gravy), the Heidelberg (cheap, large pitchers), La Villa Hermosa, Dragon Garden (upstairs in Durant Plaza), and post-Cal I miss lots of places including Jayakarta.
Yes Bob, McCurdys was so great. Larry Blakes rathskeller, what a memory, you took me there for my first legal drink. Berkeley in the 50s, so totally changed.
I just got a sudden craving for Kim’s Super Burrito… glad I wasn’t the only one who loved those burritos lol
Someone reminded me the other day of Balabosta, a great restaurant at the bottom of University near Brennans. Good place for a really nice meal, felt like a treat, and champagne.
My dad used to take me to Kip’s for beer and pizza!
Does anyone remember a little ivy covered French restaurant with a tiny jazz club in the basement on Shattuck in the 80s? I think it was called the metro? Or something similar?
I used to make pizzas at Pizza Haven on Bancroft. Crispy crusts. Anyone remember? Early 60s.
I couldn’t afford the Black Sheep. My memory is of a friend who killed herself with a .38 on the path to the front door, where her husband was taking her to dinner.
Whenever anyone would come over, we used to demand of them to “drop a penny in the piggy.” Then, when the piggy bank was full, everyone would be called upon to guess how many pennies were collected. Each of us took turns counting, to make sure of a fair count. Whoever guessed closest would get to choose the place and the item we ate. Tradition held for decades that it was always Beggar’s Banquet, and the “Beggar’s Delight,” which was to be chosen. Best dessert, ever. They got to know us well, as the group that would always pay in pennies.
Thanks Wes! I was just trying to remember the name of that great breakfast place, Wilkinson’s. We used to go there every weekend; there was always a big crowd for their delicious breakfasts. Ah, memories.
“And the lunch counter at the Berkeley Health Food store on Shattuck, serving carrot juice and the like. ” OMG we were trying to remember the name of the spot. I went on Saturdays with my mom for the carrot juice at the counter! Memory Lane.
That was a great place. I preferred to eat at his wife’s place just one door down. I remember eating a whole meal for $3.00 including tip.
John’s Soup kitchen on Dwight Way and Telegraph. And Hardcastle’s just south of Dwight on Telegraph. Bateau Ivre, which was still there a couple of years ago. Shakespeare’s books. Cody’s books. But the truth is that campus culture (bookstores, coffeehouses, small shops) has died pretty much everywhere. My last visit to Berkeley left a bad taste in my mouth. I have no plans of ever going back. The same forces have been at work everywhere. Cambridge MA is a sterile wasteland.
It was called “Soup Kitchen Heike”. Also, what was the name of the Mexican restaurant next to Intermezzo? I remember the Good Earth restaurant on Oxford. The Med was the center of my universe for a while, many friends hung there in the 80s. Cafe Renaissance on Durant I remember only a little — I was told it had been as popular as the Med, but that must have been before my time. The Hideaway down Telegraph. The names of the cafes on College and Bancroft, and College and Ashby have both changed. While making this post I just found out Au Coquelet on University closed 3 months ago. Fortunately, the Homemade (at Sacramento & Dwight) and Cafe Durant still exist.
In the 80s, there was a little Asian restaurant on the north side of University Ave, maybe around Sacramento St or California St called East Wind, I think. You could get veggies and rice there for next to nothing.
Linda, was that related to the bookstore? I (a Cal alum from the early 2000s) remember Eastwind Books on University just west of Shattuck. There was a Japanese restaurant next door with great ramen.
The Republic of Eat More was a great Falafel shop / convenience store on Dwight just off Telegraph in the late 1980s. OK, perhaps not great, but the falafels were dirt cheap and the guy who ran it was quite a character. The space was sadly taken over by an expansion of Bongo Burger. Still have fond memories of eating great burritos and drinking cheap beer on the deck of Kim’s Super Burrito just a few yards away.
This list is sad enough as it is (especially Virginia Bakery and Mediterranean Cafe) but I hate to say that Au Coquelet just closed also :( Now *that* was a Berkeley institution! `
I do, Judie! That’s what brought me to this thread. I used to go there with a friend and drink Bailey’s when I was an undergrad. Probably 1985-86? I was having such strong memories and wracking my brain trying to remember the name just now. I searched “metro bar berkeley shattuck 1980s” and ended up here because of your comment. Thanks for helping me confirm it!
I remember it, Judie! That’s what brought me to this thread. I was wracking my brain trying to remember the name. More searching uncovered that it was actually called “Metropole,” and it occupied the Tupper & Reed building at 2277 Shattuck, ivy and all. The building and all of its prior tenants, including Metropole, are on the list of Berkeley landmarks: https://berkeleyheritage.com/berkeley_landmarks/landmarks1-100.html. I used to go there with a friend when I was an undergraduate in the mid-1980s. We’d listen to jazz and drink Baileys, perhaps foreshadowing that one of the next long-term occupants of the space would be Beckett’s Irish Pub! Anyway, I miss it.
I “crashed” many nights above John’s Soup Kitchen at the apartment of Charles and Debbie. Charles was the cook there and made the best bread and soups. I remember his advise on being liberal with garlic. There were also amazing Reggie and Rum parties in a rented warehouse that the owner gave annually.
Not to disparage a Berkeley institution in any way but a friend of mine used to work in the kitchen at Metropole (in the 80’s). One night, while cleaning his station, he decided to lift one of the machines on the counter to get underneath, at which point a slew of cockroaches ran in every direction. Otherwise, it was a beautiful location with wonderful ambience :)
I sometimes ate at Veggie 4-5 times a week. Mai was the best! Sorry the place got sold out from under them.
Kip’s was never the same after they took out the cool old booths with music boxes, and replaced them with new fake-old wood and brass. The old grill to the left as you enter is gone, and they no longer put shredded cheddar cheeze on the burgers. Now it’s basically a Chinese restaurant that also has burgers and pizza.
Who remembers Herb’s hamburgers at around Kittredge above Shattuck or Kentucky “Beef” on Oxford and Allston which was a franchise owned by Kentucky Fried Chicken which sold thinly sliced beef sandwiches. This would have been in the 70’s.
I LOVED THE HEIDELBERG, OF COURSE I SHOULD HAVE SINCE I WAS THE OWNER FROM 1965 to 1978.
There were four Jules locations thru the early 1960s founded by Jules Voerge in the 40s, the first was directly across from Sproul Hall later owned by Bud Biggs then the second on Telegraph Avenue south of Bancroft I believe between Durant and Channing Way later owned by Don Green, the third was a cafe inside Berkeley Iceland and the fourth was Jules Creamery I believe the address was 1956 Shattuck Ave across the street from what was then the Ground Cow. My Father Everett Bourret managed then later owned the Creamery-restaurant.
Oh the Shanghai Steel and Iron Works was the best vegetarian Chinese restaurant! We all used to go there very often in a group and enjoyed every minute and every meal, so thank you for your work back then!
Wow! Just discovered this thread today 3/23/21. Hope it continues. I was a Cal student 67-71 and fondly recall many of the restaurants and dives mentioned above. My first job while at Cal was at Giant Hamburgers on Euclid. Initially, this was part of what would become Nation’s, a Bay Area favorite. As primarily a “Southsider,” that was where most of my meals-out were consumed. The “gross burgers” place mentioned was originally Jerry’s Grossburgers on Durant (just above the BofA location) and yes, at 3:00 am you could chose between a burger there, or a dog at TD, just up and across the street. Another favorite of ours was Tytone Fats which was just a few doors up from Jerry’s. They served fried shrimp, clam strips and a 3rd seafood choice which I can’t remember. Heart-stopping fried stuff, but in one’s teens in the 60’s, who cared? Another favorite was Reza’s deli (on west side of Tele bet. Haste and Channing). Great sandwiches and a delightful garden patio out the back door. Other favs. I didn’t see mentioned, The Graduate, a bar at College and Clairmont (across from Safeway), The Smokehouse, a burger joint at Tele & Woolsey and the infamous Kingfish (formerly on Clairmont, just off of Tele.) which a few years ago was picked up and moved around the corner on Telegraph (building & all).
THE DARVISH on Telegraph had a wonderful menu and the atmosphere was great. We were truly upset when this place was burned out along with STEVE THE GREEK just 2 doors down. A big loss. There were so many wonderful restaurants, coffee houses, book stores and other unique shops along there.
Kips was never the same after they remodelled it. No more table jukeboxes, or open grill with real grated cheddar on the burgers. They remade it into a fake oldtime place, instead of the real thing.
1969-70 there was a barebones, hole in the wall macrobiotic restaurant on University just passed the theater. Served brown rice and veggies and not much else. For me, Fresh out a girl’s school, I was transported to a new realm—challenging my idea of food and restaurants and how different life could be from my experiences.
My mother took me to McCallums more often than to Ortmans as well, perhaps because it was more of a sundae place. Went to Brennans a bunch as well. And Oscars, La Fiesta and the Golden Bear.
I came across this article because I was feeling deep nostalgia for a Chinese restaurant located in a small vintage pink house dwarfed by parking structure on Channing Way & Telegraph called Sino Palace, a favorite of mine, especially their Szechuan eggplant. Giovanni’s on Shattuck kept me alive during grad school—for the price of a glass of house wine, their happy hour buffet offered and enormous array of very fine food. A friend who was a Southeast Asian studies major took me to Indonesian food in spot that became Bateau Ivre and a small Thai place somewhere south of Shattuck that made amazing curries. I also liked an Indian place on Shattuck, near the Shattuck Hotel. Glad to know Everett & Jones Barbecue is still thriving.
I spent a lot of time in Berkeley beginning in 1961. I remember Blake’s very well. Two things I might add are the following. 1. Does anyone remember a Jewelry store just off of Telegraph Avenue. You would walk away from the campus on Telegraph and then turn left on Dwight and about half a block up there would be a small jewelry store on your right. The person in the store designed and made his own jewelry. 2. I remember a small movie theater which I believe was on Telegraph. It was very narrow and the seats were mostly third hand. I remember taking a friend to see a film there. I believe it was a french movie called Hulot’s Holiday. It later moved to a more upscale theater which was on Shattuck. It went out of business soon after this move.
Berkeley years were long ago, but I still order freshly roasted Peet’s Coffee online and fantastic French & Italian wines are regularly shipped to my door by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Plus tee shirts & sweatshirts, and a Cal Athletics shirt for the dog, and Berkeley is never out of mind.
Noble Pies. They’ve been gone at least 20 years and I still miss them. The turkey pot pie with dressing & sweet potatoes was to die for.
I was at Cal in the late seventies. There was an ice cream shop in the Durant Center that had a flavor called German Chocolate Cake. Never found anything else like it. Any idea the name of that shop or what happened to it? Also, Vivoli’s Gelato was the best gelato I have ever had. Including in Italy. I can’t believe they went out of business.
This is to respond to the remarks from Mr. Milton Chong about, “an old movie theater on Bancroft just a few doors down from Telegraph.” I lived near the U.C. Berkeley campus in the years 1969 to 1980 and from 1995 to the present. In those years, I doubt if there was any movie theater on Bancroft, just a few doors down from Telegraph (but I could be wrong). In that location, there was a music store that sold compact discs (mostly, classical music) and there was a small store that sold maps. This map store was located at the end of a short alleyway. Okay, now regarding movie theaters that have disappeared, on Telegraph there was a place called D K Theater. At D K Theater, I saw three movies, Nicholas and Alexandria, Deep Throat, and Behind The Green Door. D K Theater was located across the street from Moe’s Book Store.
Noble Pies was on College in Rockridge. Much missed still.
My reply got lost but Noble Pies was on College Ave in Rockridge Dist. Much missed. It came along after I left Cal but was where I would stop after visiting campus.
Neldam’s Danish Bakery sold cheese too. One with caraway seeds was delicious!
What was the name of the gelato shop on vine in the 80’s?
There was a great hamburger stand, Herb’s Hamburgers. Cranky older guy, one man operation. The burgers were double and served with his proprietary BBQ sauce that was perfect! Now there’s a car wash there! Sad.
There was a great hamburger stand, Herb’s Hamburgers. Cranky older guy, one man operation. The burgers were double and served with his proprietary BBQ sauce that was perfect! Now there’s a car wash there! Sad.
Became Kam’s … I remember both places. Sigh.
Pirro’s was another great place on Shattuck, excellent pizza and basic Italian dishes!
Pirro’s was another great place on Shattuck, excellent pizza and basic Italian dishes!
I came here looking to see what fate had befallen Robbies and it seems to have survived until recently. Bob Dubois has four or five years on me (nominally ’61 grad) but I was surprised to see his mention of La China-Poblana which, as the name suggests, was part Mexican, part Chinese, a bizarre combo but good eats. Mario’s La Fiesta was such a family place that I assumed it must have gone by the seventies (met my ex there serving me a bowl of tripe soap.) Nobody seems to have mentioned Steppenwolf, one of places I floated through on my first and only acid trip. I was a transfer from Dartmouth where I was a nominal ’60. They are after money weekly, but the Cal Alumni never bothered.
I was T Berkeley from 69-72. I tried very hard to get a job at the Heidelberg through my friend, last name Hamdani, forgot the first name, who was a busboy there. No go because I was on a student visa. I remember talking to you. There was always a Hungarian lady sitting there by the wall chain smoking and drinking coffee.
Fascinating. Wish I had been there, but I left Berkeley for a teaching job in ’66 or ’67.
Sorry for the misunderstanding George. The “Reply” links just adds the comment to the list rather than as a reply under that specific comment. My comment was a reply to CHRIS TRIANTOPOULOS REPLIED ON MARCH 11, 2021 - 8:25AM PERMALINK I LOVED THE HEIDELBERG, OF COURSE I SHOULD HAVE SINCE I WAS THE OWNER FROM 1965 to 1978.
To Riz: Now I understand why the name Heidelberg (in this context) was unfamiliar. In 1965 I was still at Cal but living just across the border in Oakland with a wife and son and rarely anywhere but there or on campus.
My favorite. I used to get the salad and either split it witu my daughter or make 2-3 meals out of it. I left Berkeley in 2005. So sorry to see it and the others are gone now, most since I left.
My previous comment was in response to others about Intermezzo.
Hi, Jim, I was delighted to read your reply. My parents owned and operated Si’s Charbroiler on Durant Avenue, and I worked there after school when I was in junior high and high school. It was a joy to come to know so many Cal students who ate and hung out there, some of whom became lifetime friends. And I agree: Spenger’s was fantastic!
Oh yes, Casa de Eva! I love La Tolteca on University Ave next to Frazier’s Lapidary and across from Surplus Center (army surplus). Best red sauce ‘salsa’ and such a simple, inexpensive restaurant. All of those great dining experiences at the foot of University Ave. I’m talking mid ’70’s here.
I was at Cal from 76-81. It was my golden-age of affordable gastronomy. I also worked at Yogurt Park, Cafe Durant, and the Fruit Bowl. We lived at Manuel’s for chips and salsa and pitchers of beer. There was a great little place called Cookies and Milk and the cheap and popular Teriyaki Bowl. Cafe Renaissance was the first place I drank coffee as a 17-year-old freshman. I felt so grown up. They had the best crepes there, huge flat things filled with cheese, mushrooms, and spinach. My favorite. When any of the parents came to town, we made them take us all to Larry Blake’s for the fresh tossed salad. The reason I found this thread was that I am looking for a recipe for the delicious Omnivore pita sandwich that was sold out of a cart off of Sproul Plaza on Bancroft. Any ideas?
Oh, Larry Blake’s yummy salads!!!!
La Villa - sorely missed.
Worked there from ‘78 to ‘80. Great memories.
At Balabosta on University
I used to go to Botts with my mom and my brother several times a week. That was in the 60s and the 70s. Their ice cream was so good because they made it right there in the back! About 10 or 11 years ago I was reminiscing down the streets of my old neighborhood and walked into the store that was Botts, it was a Mexican restaurant actually the food is really great but the best part was that the wallpaper was the same original wallpaper that was up back when it was Botts! Also the floor-it was dark red brick color ceramic tiles, that beautiful flower had not been changed since the good old days thank God! What wonderful memories of growing up in Berkeley during those years all those wonderful restaurants! Does anybody remember a Mexican restaurant on Ashby called la tolteca? I recall it was pretty far down Ashby like close to the freeway. The best chile rellenos I’ve ever had…
…Proving there must be a God in heaven! I ate there in the late 60s-early 70s (BHS ’72) and it is a required stop every time I return to the East Bay for a visit.
Almost making me cry. My mom worked at Cal but I didn’t go; I lived there from 1966 to 1975 and was BHS 72. Spent lot of time at Egg Shop and Apple Press, Giant Burger, Top Dog, Jade Pagoda on University, and hung out at Palmer’s at Shattuck and University. Worked at the Baskin-Robbins that used to be at Solano and Colusa (Kamala Harris was at TO Elementary School just around the corner—wonder if I ever served her?). I remember Bertola’s, the giant bowls of salad and cauldrons of minestrone they would serve before you even got your meal (good thing I was a teenager!)
Robbie’s was a wonderful discovery when I arrived in 1963. I knew about it as a place where Allen Ginsberg had worked a few years previously. The roast beef for their sandwiches was carved from wonderfully rare meat, the Turkey legs were a bargain. The ambiance and connection to the Beats were added attractions. Does anybody recall the Star Cafe on the Northside, somewhere near Chez Panisse? There was a faded red star on the restaurant’s sign. They served a delicious, exotic (to me) soup with lemon in it. Masse’s Pastry, next door to Sol’s Delicatessen, is remarkable for the excellence of their pastries and croissants. Nearby a few doors south of Peet’s, the Juice Bar Collective has superior healthful food and juices. Sol’s, by the way, serves excellent food, and a celery tonic made with sugar, rather than the corn syrup used in the commercial version.
Anyone remember Solomon Grudy’s @ the Berkeley marina? I enjoyed the live piano music and Shirley Temples!
I worked at the La Tolteca on University while I was going to Berkeley HS, mostly take out with an occasional delivery. Nice clientele but my favorite was seeing Admiral Nimitz came by. He was from Texas. I lost the autographed photo he gave me.
La Burrita was my favorite. Huge burritos…
Egg Shop and Apple Press was located in Walnut Square, and it was in the same building as Peet’s Coffee. I lived across the street from Walnut Square in the years, 1979 to 1980. My apartment was at 1519 Walnut Street. Those were my grad school years.
This is to respond to Chris T. I graduated from Pacific High School in San Leandro in 1969. My parents took me to Heidelberg on Telegraph Avenue to celebrate. Heidelberg restaurant was culturally important to my family, because my mom is from Austria and her native language is German, and because my father (has Ph.D. in chemistry) loved German culture (for example, Beethoven’s music, books by German philosophers, and chemistry). Most of the groundwork in the field of chemistry was established by chemists in Germany. Even though my dinner at Heidelberg was not recent (it was in June 1969), I vividly remember the bright lights shining on the roasts displayed at the serving counter. My father also took us to German restaurants in San Francisco (Schroeder’s) and in Monterey.
I ran into a Cadillac out front and high tailed it out of there!
The Albatross!!
Granatas was in Emeryville. IIRC it was off 6th several blocks S of Ashby. It was my Dad’s favorite pizza, so my family went there often - good gooey cheese memories! I think it must have closed in the 70s.
I still salivate when I drive by Noble Pies’ former location.. Nice Australian owners. I haven’t found good savory pies in the East Bay that match up.
But Ortman’s had slushes, beloved by Thousand Oaks kids after school. I like the 10 cent orange lime mix because orange and green were my fave colors. The also had sundaes, milkshakes, and phosphates. McCollum’s did have great ice cream too. Anyone remember Meckel’s grocery next door on Solano - a very old-time store, even in the mid 1960s?
I’m still hoping for some to contribute some memories relating to Solomon Grudy’s! Anyone?!
I wish I could take a walk down late 60s Solano from The Alameda to San Pablo. Wasn’t there an Egg Shop and Apple Press at the top of Solano too? The Oaks theater. There was a little toy shop on the north side of the street near Colusa too, and I think I remember a wine shop on the south side of the street.
Guys, I visited the Berkeley campus for 2 weeks in August of 1986 or 1987, from Michigan (MSU Spartan). There was a cafe not far from campus that had a run down look and feel. The place looked like an old roman type building with columns and it was famous for their large cappuccinos and chocolate croissants. I can’t remember the name or exact location of this place and it probably closed down years ago. Does anyone have any memory of this great cafe from that time period? Also there was this small restaurant but no seating just a place you walk up and order food to eat on the go. The staff was purposely rude to the patrons and would make odd and derogatory remarks. It would never fly in today’s PC climate but I thought it was a neat concept back then. I think they served sausage too. Also why was about every Berkelite obsessed with the university of Michigan (Wolverines)? Thanks! Jerry
Thank you! That was an era of Berkeley that I feel lucky to have experienced. Long live the Wall!
Thank you. My father would have been pleased by your comments. I probably waited on you. I remember Sunday mornings in the 60’s when the line to get in trailed out the door, down Shattuck and around the corner. We waitresses didn’t sit down until about 2pm.
My post was in reply to a comment about Wilkinson’s at 2113 Shattuck but it wound up in the main comment section. My father opened the restaurant in the late 40’s and sold it after a fire closed the original in the 70’s. I remember Brennan’s and Spenger’s, too. Same vintage!

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